Facebook sees itself as the moral compass of America. Of course, that’s laughable at best.
As we’ve seen over the past several years, Facebook believes they have the responsibility to decide for America – whether the issue is political, scientific, or social. But they don’t just support one side over the other. Facebook actually works to hide the opposition.
I’ll be the first to say I think we’ve gone extreme on this social distancing platform and the halt of America. But even if I thought social distancing were the answer, I can’t get behind Facebook’s approach.
Facebook threatens the very definitions of freedom and liberty with their standard operation model. It doesn’t matter whether you are conservative or liberal. Alarms bells should be sounding off when a social media company starts making decisions for us.
Goodbye First Amendment
Many call the first amendment “freedom of speech,” but there’s more to it than that. It also guarantees us the right to assemble, and redress grievances with the government. In other words, Americans have the constitutional power to hold a protest, whether Facebook agrees or not.
As Fox News explains:
Facebook banned some pages promoting protests of stay-at-home mandates that challenge the government’s advice about social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook. For this same reason, events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook,” a company rep told Fox News.
Protests have popped up in various states among residents who disagree with certain stay-at-home guidelines. Many of the protests feature large groups of people closely gathered as the nation has been instructed to social distance in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.
California, Colorado, Tennessee, Illinois, Florida, Montana, Wisconsin, Washington, Texas, New Hampshire, Maryland, Nevada, Idaho, Minnesota, Kentucky, Utah, Oregon, North Carolina, Ohio, New York, Virginia, Michigan and Oklahoma have all seen some type protest of stay-at-home mandates and policies.
A Facebook source noted the company is aware some people may seek to protest orders to stay at home. But the company will only allow the protests to be promoted on the platform if the people follow social distancing guidelines. The company is focused on “removing content that advocates for in-person gatherings defying government health guidance,” the sources added.
The company also removes content and claims intended to “discourage treatment” or take “appropriate precautions” to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Propaganda at Play?
Even more alarming is the fact that Facebook is taking orders from state government to silence American citizens. How is this any better than the propaganda we see from foreign governments such as China and North Korea? No matter the message, the government shouldn’t try to control the narrative. Furthermore, Facebook’s interference in what people say should be minimal, and reserved only to eliminate dangerous threats.
…not everyone agrees with Facebook’s new policy. Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson told Fox News that the social media giant “is acting on instructions from state governments to silence lawful political speech.”
“As such, Facebook may have crossed the line from platform ‘misinformation’ control, which arguably is lawful as a private entity, to acting as an extension of government,” Jacobson said.
Jacobson is not alone in his analysis.
Tweeters Weigh In
Want to accelerate the belief among Americans that the goal here isn’t public safety but tyrannical control? Continue to do stuff like this. https://t.co/3HFqyJnjaO
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 20, 2020
Facebook is garbage run by left-wing authoritarians. https://t.co/sAsXwKMNgx
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 20, 2020
Dear Civil Rights Division of @TheJusticeDept:@Facebook is working hand-in-glove with tyrants in state and local governments to retaliate against Americans who are exercising First Amendment rights, by completely censoring (de-platforming) them.
— Mike Davis (@mrddmia) April 20, 2020
Facebook seems pretty excited today to tell Americans that it’s violating their Constitutional rights to free speech and to peaceful assembly! https://t.co/bJo0SHsVbi
— Emerald Robinson ✝️ (@EmeraldRobinson) April 20, 2020
This is going to backfire on Facebook, which is already facing criticism for clamping down on political speech. Facebook is acting like an arm of the state when it should remain independent and allow for these conversations to continue (and be opposed by other citizens). https://t.co/iWr77rBaU3
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) April 20, 2020
I find these protests ridiculous but Facebook should not be regulating the exercise of public political speech at the direction of government officials https://t.co/VXF6q2Bpqb
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) April 20, 2020
I half expected Zuckerberg to deny Facebook’s interference. Instead, he appeared on Good Morning America to declare his intentions to track coronavirus information.
“We’re partnering with researchers at Carnegie Mellon University to run a widespread survey across Facebook asking people what kind of symptoms they’re feeling,” Zuckerberg told George Stephanopoulos.
“We’re able to work with the researchers to produce an interactive map based on the aggregate data that provides a daily updated county by county map of this, of the symptoms that people are experiencing, across the country,” Zuckerberg added. “That’s a lot of the work that the health researchers at Carnegie Mellon have been doing to make sure the data that’s coming from the survey is high quality and that it correlates with what hospitals are seeing on the ground.”
Now that’s something Facebook can do positively. Unfortunately, they have no idea where to draw the line. Clearly, it’s one thing to gather data. But it’s quite another to limit our access to opinions from both sides of the issue. Of course, we’re no stranger to Facebook’s censorship. They’ve hit the Black Sphere repeatedly over the past two years. Especially when we’ve addressed climate change.
However, we refuse to be intimidated by their practices. Thus, if you’re looking for a Facebook alternative, where you’re free to explore the arguments without censorship, join us at the Tea Party Community, where censorship doesn’t exist.